World champion Sebastian Vettel had a high-altitude scare when returning to his home in Switzerland from Singapore earlier this week.

Media reports say the Singapore Airbus A380 carrying the Red Bull driver, as well as other F1 personalities including Peter Sauber, encountered a problem just before landing in Zurich.

The pilots diverted to Frankfurt, and Bild newspaper said it was a failure of the aircraft's instrument landing system (ILS).

Passengers recalled that as the plane descended for landing, the pilots suddenly pulled back up at full power.

"We were never scared, because we were given very good information from the cockpit," Sauber is quoted as saying by the Swiss newspaper Blick.

"But during the approach I did think, 'oops, the forest down there is looking rather close'. Then we went back up."

Vettel's press manager, Britta Roeske, said: "The captain came immediately to Sebastian and explained the electronic defect. Sebastian was very relaxed and even let himself be photographed with the crew members and passengers."